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The Role of Government Debt in Economic Growth

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  • António Afonso
  • José Alves

Abstract

We study the effect of public debt on economic growth for annual and 5-year average growth rates, as well as the existence of non-linearity effects of debt on growth for 14 European countries from 1970 until 2012. We also consider debt-to-GDP ratio interactions with monetary, public finance, institutional and macroeconomic variables. Our results show a negative impact of -0.01% for each 1% increment of public debt, although debt service has a 10 times worse effect on growth. In addition, we find average debt ratio thresholds of around 75%. Belonging to the Eurozone has a detrimental effect of at least -0.5% for real per capita GDP, and the banking crisis is the most harmful crisis for growth.

Suggested Citation

  • António Afonso & José Alves, 2014. "The Role of Government Debt in Economic Growth," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/16, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp162014
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    Cited by:

    1. António Afonso & Yasfir Ibraimo, 2018. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Public Debt: An Empirical Analysis of Mozambique," Working Papers REM 2018/29, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    2. repec:gam:jecomi:v:6:y:2018:i:1:p:10-:d:130247 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. António Afonso & José Alves, 2017. "Stock-Flow Adjustments and Interest Rates," Working Papers Department of Economics 2017/05, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    4. repec:jle:journl:169 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:2a:p:607-633 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Falilou Fall & Debra Bloch & Jean-Marc Fournier & Peter Hoeller, 2015. "Prudent debt targets and fiscal frameworks," OECD Economic Policy Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
    7. repec:prg:jnlpol:v:2018:y:2018:i:2:id:1183:p:178-200 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    government debt; economic growth; debt thresholds.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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